Summary Judgment is available to both Claimants and Defendants. It avoids occasions on when an opponent’s case shows no reasonable prospect of success.
The advantage of this judgment is that it secures a quick result for the action.
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Applying For Summary Judgment
The application for Summary Judgment is governed under Part 24 of the Civil Procedure Rules and this must be precisely followed. This is an excellent option for several our clients, we understand that often cases are a very stressful and difficult time for our you and we aim to make the process as smooth and as painless as possible. We have many years of experience in doing this.
The summary judgement is available if one party can demonstrate that the other party stands no chance in the litigation. In theory, it is very straightforward, however there are a number of pitfalls which means summary judgement can be avoided if the merits of the case are not overwhelmingly proven.
If it works, then it is a time and cost saving solution to the problem and means that the stress and difficulty can be put behind you in a shorter period of time. If we think that a summary judgement is a sensible route to take, then we will advise you during your civil litigation.
How To Make A Summary Judgment Application
If you wish to make a Summary Judgment, you must complete the Summary Judgment Application Form which is available at most Courts. Either party can make the application but it cannot be made until the Claimant has served the Particulars Of Claim and the Defendant has served either Acknowledgment of Service or Defence. The application should be supported by written evidence and it must be served on the other party. At Seaton’s we will involve you in every step of the litigation process.
Once completed, it must be returned to the Court alongside the appropriate fee. The fee can be reclaimed from the opposing party if your claim is successful. We will advise you of all the relevant fees whilst we are working on your case.
The Summary judgement application must be made on paper. This means that no oral evidence can be put forward to the courts. We will prepare the summary judgement and ensure that you know all the details we use to achieve a summary judgement. We are known as the friendly professionals. We take pride in being there for you every step of the way and will not make any decision on your behalf without first informing you.
The disadvantages of a summary judgement are that the defendant need only create a smoke screen for the summary judgement to be denied. For the summary judgement to work it is important for the case to be overwhelmingly in your favour. If the judgement is unsuccessful and the case moves forward to trial, then the costs incurred for the claimant will raise significantly. If the summary judgement is successful, then the costs that can be recovered from the defendant are limited to £350. The costs of the summary judgement may be significantly higher than this.
Because of the risks associated with a Summary Judgement we will advise you every step of the way.
After The Application For Summary Judgment
After you have issued the Summary Judgment with the Court, it will list the matter for a hearing in front of a District Judge or Deputy District Judge in the County Court.
The Court’s Approach
Under the Civil Procedure Rules, the Judge must apply a test to the facts of the claim to decide whether Summary Judgment applies and whether the case can continue. If you are the Claimant, the Judge will question whether the Defendant has any real prospect of successfully defending the claim. If the conclusion is negative, the Judge must consider whether there is any other compelling reason why the matter should proceed to full trial.
If it is the Defendant making the application, the Judge will effectively consider the same matters; does the Claimant have any real prospect of successfully succeeding on the claim. Again, if the conclusion is negative the Judge will consider whether there is any other compelling reason for the claim to proceed to full trial.
The test is relatively simple, if you believe the other side has no claim or defence against you, then a Summary Judgment should be issued so the Court can deal with the claim without proceeding to a full trial.
If you think that you have a case for a summary judgement or indeed are the claimant/ defendant of a civil litigation claim, then please do not hesitate to call us today on 0800 310 11 12 where we will assess your case and advise on the next steps you should take.